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Clockwork Assassin

Exceptionally efficient and utterly merciless, clockwork assassins carry out their murderous directives with mechanical precision. Though they can disguise themselves, upon close inspection, they're plainly artificial, with just a single eye and weapons integrated into their arms.

Recall Knowledge - Construct (Arcana, Crafting): DC 33

Elite | Normal | Weak
Proficiency without Level

Clockwork AssassinCreature 13

UncommonNMediumClockworkConstructMindless
Source Pathfinder #160: Assault on Hunting Lodge Seven pg. 82
Perception +23; darkvision, smoke vision
Skills Acrobatics +29, Athletics +25, Stealth +27
Str +6, Dex +8, Con +4, Int -5, Wis +0, Cha -5
Integrated Launcher A projectile launcher is integrated into a clockwork assassin's systems, containing 10 spinning blades and five smoke bombs. When the assassin is destroyed, the launcher and its ammunition are also destroyed.
Smoke Vision The clockwork assassin ignores the concealed condition from smoke.
Wind-Up For the clockwork assassin to act, it must be wound with a unique key by another creature. This takes 1 minute. Once wound, it remains operational for 24 hours, after which time it becomes unaware of its surroundings and can't act until it's wound again.
The assassin can enter standby mode as a 3-action activity. Its operational time doesn't decrease in standby, but it can sense its surroundings (with a –2 penalty to Perception). It can't act, with one exception: when it perceives a creature, it can exit standby as a reaction (rolling initiative if appropriate).
A creature can attempt a DC 31 Thievery check to Disable a Device to wind the assassin down. For each success, the assassin loses 1 hour of operational time. This can be done even if the assassin is in standby mode.
AC 34; Fort +23, Ref +29, Will +19
HP 230; Immunities bleed, death effects, disease, doomed, drained, fatigued, healing, mental, necromancy, nonlethal attacks, paralyzed, poisoned, sickened, unconscious; Resistances physical 10 (except adamantine or orichalcum); Weaknesses electricity 15, orichalcum 15
Attack of Opportunity ReactionReaction
Speed 30 feet, climb 20 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action rapier hand +27 [+22/+17] (deadly d8, disarm, finesse, magical), Damage 3d6+12 piercing plus unbalancing blowRanged Single ActionSingle Action spinning blade +27 [+23/+19] (agile, deadly d10, magical, range increment 120 feet), Damage 2d10+9 slashingRapid Repair (manipulate) The clockwork assassin spends 1 hour of its operational time to repair itself, regaining 25 Hit Points and refilling its integrated projectile launcher with 4 spinning blades (to a maximum of 10) and 2 smoke bombs (to a maximum of 5).Smoke Bomb Launcher Single ActionSingle Action (manipulate) The clockwork assassin launches a smoke bomb. A screen of thick, opaque smoke fills a 10-foot burst within 60 feet of the clockwork assassin. Creatures within the area are concealed, and all other creatures are concealed to them. The smoke lasts for 1 minute or until dispersed by a strong wind.Sneak Attack The clockwork assassin's Strikes deal an additional 3d6 precision damage to flat-footed creatures.Unbalancing Blow Creatures hit by the clockwork assassin's rapier hand Strike are flat-footed until the start of the clockwork assassin's next turn.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Assassin Augmentations

Clockwork assassins can feature a variety of abilities and mechanisms to better complete their assigned tasks. Assassins expecting to face large groups of enemies have integrated weapons that target multiple foes at once. Other assassins have magical integration, allowing them to cast useful spells.

All Monsters in "Clockworks"

NameLevel
Clockwork Amalgam20
Clockwork Assassin13
Clockwork Dragon16
Clockwork Mage9
Clockwork Soldier6
Clockwork Spy-1

Clockworks

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 48
Intricate, complex machines, clockworks are built with care by highly skilled engineers. Though their creation involves some amount of magic, they're primarily mechanical, packed with precision-tuned gears and springs working in concert.

The sturdy mainspring within a clockwork must be wound to provide the energy needed to power the device. Some larger clockworks contain a series of springs for different limbs that each need to be wound. A clockwork's crafter creates a unique metal key while building the clockwork; winding the clockwork usually involves inserting the key into the machine's back and turning clockwise. Larger clockworks require greater strength to turn the key, and typically have larger keys to allow for more torque—some even accommodating a team of winders rather than an individual. Programming a clockwork requires both the key and the knowledge to set the program correctly, information usually reserved for the clockwork's creator or owner.

Winding Clockworks

A clockwork must be wound to remain operational. Each clockwork has the wind-up ability, with the specifics listed in its stat block.

Wind-Up For a clockwork to act, it must be wound with a unique key by another creature. This takes 1 minute. Once wound, it remains operational for the listed amount of time, usually 24 hours, after which time it becomes unaware of its surroundings and can't act until it's wound again. Some clockworks' abilities require them to spend some of their remaining operational time. They can't spend more than they have and shut down immediately once they have 0 time remaining. If it's unclear when a clockwork was last wound, most clockwork keepers wind all their clockworks at a set time, typically 8 a.m.

A clockwork that lists standby in its wind-up entry can enter standby mode as a 3-action activity. Its operational time doesn't decrease in standby, but it can sense its surroundings (with a –2 penalty to Perception). It can't act, with one exception: when it perceives a creature, it can exit standby as a reaction (rolling initiative if appropriate).

A creature can attempt to Disable a Device to wind a clockwork down (with a DC listed in the wind-up entry). For each success, the clockwork loses 1 hour of operational time. This can be done even if the clockwork is in standby mode.

Sidebar - Locations Clockwork Research

Clockworks were invented in ancient times, culminating in the clockwork army of Xin, the first emperor of ancient Thassilon, but were lost for millennia. Disparate peoples later rediscovered the techniques and began to alter and improve them. Today, the Clockwork Cathedral in Absalom is a center of clockwork research, with many breakthroughs also coming from the kingdom of Nex and the mechanically savvy Grand Duchy of Alkenstar. The Qadiran professor Hadia Al-Dannah, formerly of the Clockwork Cathedral, wrote the best-regarded modern text on clockwork design—Glorious Rhythms in Life and Mechanica.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Malfunction!

Clockworks can be prone to errors if not well maintained or properly programmed. You might want to introduce one of the malfunctions listed below in a clockwork that is in disrepair or gets damaged heavily in battle (such as with a critical hit).

Backfire: The clockwork rolls a DC 5 flat check at the start of each of its turns. On a failure, it backfires, dealing 2d6 fire damage in a 15-foot cone, including to itself (basic Reflex save at the standard DC for its level), and is slowed 1 this turn.

Damaged Propulsion: The clockwork loses 1d4 hours of operational time at the end of each of its turns.

Loose Screws: When damaged, the clockwork attempts a DC 5 flat check. On a failure, a plate of its armor falls loose. It takes a status penalty to AC equal to the number of lost plates (up to –4).

Sidebar - Additional Lore Winding Routines

Maintaining a group of clockworks that are meant to operate on a regular basis takes planning and attention. A cadre of clockwork soldiers set to patrol a location needs to be regularly wound. Typically, one or more servants are assigned to wind all the clockworks serving in one place at a standard time.